Hero Destini 125 Review
Bike Tested: Hero Destini 125; Road Test No. 1011; Test Location: Delhi
Price OTR Mumbai: Rs. 71,200/- (VX Variant)
The Hero Destini 125 is a value for money scooter, aimed at the mass market
With the current trend, every manufacturer is having presence in the 125cc segment, except Hero MotoCorp. At the Auto Expo, Hero MotoCorp displayed their first 125cc scooter. However, after a long wait, they have finally launched it named as the Hero Destini 125. Along with the launch, Hero MotoCorp had also organised a quick test ride of the scooter. I rode the Destini in the heart of Delhi and I am quite impressed with its practical bits. However, the main question is whether the scooter is ready to face the competition?
Motor Quest: Showcased at the 2018 Auto Expo, the Destini was called Duet 125. However, the name Duet didn't make way but a brand new 125cc engine did. Hero MotoCorp has developed this engine in-house and the company has also confirmed that they will be launching a sportier offering in the near future with the same 125cc engine.
Styling - With a quick look, differentiating the Destini from other Hero scooters would be difficult as the styling is very similar. Design cues have been lifted from the Maestro and the Duet, however, there's an addition of chrome at the front and both the sides. Just like the Maestro, it gets a black visor over the headlight. While the tail-light design has been taken from the Duet. The Destini 125 is offered in two variants - LX and VX. The VX variant gets cast alloy wheels, body coloured mirrors and a dual-tone seat. While the LX misses out on the chrome bits and gets steel rims. The design is neat and there are no surprise bulges while all the bulbs are halogens as there's no LED on offer.
Instrument Cluster and Switchgear - The Destini 125 gets an analogue-digital unit where the speedometer is analogue and rest of the details are included within the digital LCD. It looks like it has been lifted from the Maestro, however, the design is not as clumsy as it was. The digital unit displays the trip meter, odometer, fuel gauge and a service reminder too. While the tell-tale lights include turn indicators and a side stand indicator. The switchgear quality is decent, however, it gets a kill-switch which is basically an i3S switch and there's the starter button on the right too. On the left, the turn indicator switch and horn switch do duty while the high-low switch has an integrated pass light function.
Ergonomics - The ergonomics on the Hero Destini 125 have been carried over from the Duet. The seat is comfortable and you sit upright. At 775 mm of seat height, it is easy to get on and off without any hassle. While there is good amount of space on the footboard too. The handlebar isn't too wide, however the mirrors don't show what's behind if you are riding with a jacket on. The cushioning is slightly hard as compared to other scooters but there's good amount of space for the pillion. The pillion footpegs are placed slightly wide due to the body design while the grab rail is very convenient and good to hold too.
Performance - Powered by a 124.6cc motor, that produces 8.7 BHP of power and 10.2 Nm of torque, the Destini's numbers aren't as exciting as the competition as they produce similar power and torque figures. What is interesting is that power delivery is very strong in the mid-range. The low-end is just fine to handle traffic while there's not much of a top-end. The scooter goes out of breath at 90 km/hr while it has a happy spot at 55 km/hr. This is where the throttle is very responsive and picking up pace isn't much of a trouble.
This is the first Hero engine that seems very refined and yet packs a punch
On the other hand, the i3S system comes in handy in stop-go traffic. The motor shuts at 3 seconds of idle and to turn it on, you have to hold the rear brake and twist the throttle a little. This helps in an increase of around 10% in fuel efficiency as said by Hero MotoCorp. However, we didn't have much time to test the fuel economy but i3S works really well. Also if the battery gets low after a certain level, the i3S won't work until the charge is up to a certain level. The engine is quite refined but vibrations can be felt at idle and in the top-end. There's no harshness what-so-ever and the exhaust isn't loud either.
Riding Dynamics - The ergonomics are very comfortable and so are the riding dynamics. The Hero Destini 125 rides like any other scooter, it is flickable and easy to ride. The handling of the scooter is just about right and the suspension setup manages to do a good job too. The front telescopic forks absorb a lot of bumps while the rear suspension has a bounce-back effect on bad roads. The handle doesn't get much heavy even with a pillion, it isn't much of a hassle either as the scooter rides pretty well. The 10-inch wheels mated to MRF rubber grip well, while TVS and CEAT are also tyre suppliers for the Destini 125. Even the top variant misses out on a disc brake at the front, however, a combi-braking system is offered in both the variants. Braking feedback is adequate and the scooter stops in a commendable distance.
Verdict – The Destini is the latest 125cc competitor and a first from Hero MotoCorp too. The scooter has adequate performance, a good amount of comfort and rides well too. It comes in two variants and both the variants are priced very attractively. It just undercuts all the 125cc scooters in the segment. But for the tech-savvy, the Destini doesn't provide much hardware. It misses out on a front disc brake and there isn't anything special to talk about. However, the Hero Destini 125 is a very raw scooter priced really close to the 110cc segment, making it the easiest option to upgrade from 100/110cc to the 125cc category!
* Simple design language looks very neat
* Engine has a good mid-range and i3S works really well
* Priced very attractively, it undercuts all 125cc scooters
What’s Not So Cool
* No disc brake offered in the top variant
* Cost saving is evident at quite a few places
* Underseat storage isn't big enough and it won't fit a full-size helmet
Hero Destini 125 Specifications
* Engine: 124.6cc, Air-Cooled, 2-Valve, i3S
* Power: 8.7 BHP @ 6750 RPM
* Torque: 10.2 Nm @ 5000 RPM
* Transmission: CVT Variomatic
* Top Speed: 90 km/hr
* Fuel Type: Petrol
* Fuel Consumption: 42 km/l
* Frame: Underbone Frame
* Suspension: Telescopic Forks (Front), Single-Sided Monoshock (Rear)
* Tyres: 90/100/10 (Front), 90/100/10 (Rear)
* Brakes: 130 mm Drum (Front), 130 mm Drum (Rear), CBS
Hero Destini 125 Dimensions
* Length x Width x Height: 1809 mm x 729 mm x 1154 mm
* Wheelbase: 1245 mm
* Seat Height: 775 mm
* Ground Clearance: 155 mm
* Fuel Tank Capacity: 5.5-litres
* Kerb weight: 111.5 kgs
Hero Destini 125 Review
Hero Destini 125 is the latest offering in the 125cc segment from Hero MotoCorp. Developed in-house, the Destini 125 produces 8.7 BHP of power and 10.2 Nm of torque which is quite close to the competition. Design language has been picked up from existing Hero scooters but the Destini still looks relatively fresh. Where the Destini 125 excels is the price at which it is being offered, it just undercuts all 125cc scooters and comes very close to being an upgrade from a 110cc scooter.